Does he do ’em wrong or do ’em right?

“Rather than “Soul Patrol!” kitsch or a Clay Aiken schmaltz-fest, “Taylor Hicks” is a tasteful blue-eyed soul record not unlike the ones we used to get from Rod Stewart, Joe Cocker, Stevie Winwood and the like. Around these parts, people might even say, “Hey, that sounds like Billy Price“…It starts out poppier than it is with a brassy “The Run-Around” and “Dream Myself Awake,” typical pop craft from Rob Thomas. But then Paul Pena’s “Gonna Move” and “Heaven Knows,” which takes the riff from “What’d I Say,” are all retro-classic winners. Same with Hicks’ own “Soul Thing,” but he’s going to owe Warren Haynes (“Soulshine”) a few bucks for that one. In places where he could go over the top, like on the inevitable Diane Warren track, “Places I’ve Been,” or the Randy Newman-style closer “The Right Place,” he keeps his control and grit. Club singers like our beloved Price have been making records like this for years. All it took was an unlikely run by a silver-haired young Idol with two left feet to put it on a major label.” (three and a half stars) —The Post-Gazette

Taylor Hicks (RCA) doesn’t give him much of a chance to show off his strong voice or his soul-patrol personality. It’s choked with bland leftovers and ill-fitting covers that make it the latest in a line of disappointing debuts from “American Idol” alumni…The best songs on the album are the ones Hicks wrote — the retro, bar-band soul of “Soul Thing” and the Bonnie Raitt-ish blues of “The Deal” — from his pre-“Idol” albums, along with “The Right Place,” a soul ballad Bryan Adams co-wrote for the late Ray Charles. Part of the problem with “Taylor Hicks” is clearly the time crunch of finishing an album in less than six months while touring and maintaining an extremely busy public schedule. But the other part of the problem is that Hicks’ keepers seem to have been trying to mold him into something he’s not.” (two stars) —The News & Observer

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What the kids are sayin’



"I hate them all. The judges, TPTB, the blatant manipulation, the songs, the contestants, everything. I'm a die-hard Cook fan, but for the love of god, at least try to look like you're enjoying yourself up there! Please? Syesha was awesome but she ruined it by being completely shameless and disgusting. Yes, being on American Idol is exactly like the civil rights movement, except for the part where you're fighting to make the world a better place."



"All I can say after the disgusting display tonight of favoritism towards the mediocrity that is David A. - good luck trying to market and make money off of that kid, American Idol. (Not to mention good luck dealing with his father.) All the teeny boppers may buy up his American Idol coronation single, but they will quickly forget about him before the album comes out. And I shudder to think of a David A. album - song after song of unrelenting sameness and heavy breathing. Why they are pimping him for the win is beyond me."



"This show was simply a hot buttered mess tonight. And Jason "needs to be arrested for what he did to I Shot the Sheriff. But I hope he stays. He amuses me. "

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